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Oahu's Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail

Oahu's Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail

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Oahu's Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail

Lunghezza:
147 pagine
40 minuti
Pubblicato:
Sep 15, 2014
ISBN:
9781439647271
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

US Navy rail operations on Oahu began in 1908 with construction railroads used to help build the shipyard. Expansion of Pearl Harbor to include the submarine base and the naval magazine on Kuahua Island required a permanent railroad, which was begun in 1911. This construction provided industrial employment to hundreds of local men in the existing agricultural economy, and the influx of additional manpower from the mainland contributed to an increasingly skilled and diverse population. World War II brought about a dramatic increase in Navy railroad operations in support of the war effort. Success in the Pacific theater of operations depended on the Navy s railroads, equipment, and the Oahu Railway & Land Company (OR&L), which connected all the bases. The OR&L abandoned its main line in December 1947. By the mid-1950s, railroad operations at Pearl Harbor also ceased. Rail operations continued at and between Naval Magazine Lualualei and Ammunition Depot West Loch through the Korean Conflict and Vietnam era, ending in 1972.
Pubblicato:
Sep 15, 2014
ISBN:
9781439647271
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Jeff Livingston, historian at the Hawaiian Railway Society, uses historic photographs from the 14th Naval District and Hawaiian Railway Society photograph collections to document the early years of Pearl Harbor and the story of these now largely forgotten railroads.

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Anteprima del libro

Oahu's Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail - Jeff Livingston

Collection.

INTRODUCTION

The first shore-based presence of the US Navy in the Sandwich Islands, as Hawaii was then known, was in 1860 when a small, 1,000-ton coaling station was established on leased land in Honolulu Harbor. Little used because of the Navy’s policy requiring warships to operate under sail power as much as possible, the coaling station was of no actual or strategic value. The real military importance of Hawaii as a mid-Pacific way station was not recognized until 1898, during and immediately after the Spanish-American War, as the United States was attempting to transport troops and supplies to the new outposts in the Philippines and Guam. Following annexation of Hawaii by the United States that same year, plans were drawn up to increase the capacity of the coaling station to 20,000 tons and acquire additional land in Honolulu Harbor for naval purposes. Two naval wharves were to be constructed, and a survey was conducted of Pearl Harbor for potential future use. Naval Station Honolulu was officially established November 17, 1899, and was redesignated Naval Station Hawaii on February 2, 1900. A 1901 appropriations act allowed for the expansion of the naval station and a survey of Pearl Harbor, including land acquisition. By 1908, the naval station in Honolulu had grown to become an 85-acre naval reservation with multiple wharves, piers, enlarged coaling facilities, a pier crane, a machine shop, a smithy, a foundry, a water system, a wireless station, and housing. The Honolulu Harbor entrance had been dredged and the channel enlarged to allow the entry of larger ships, which benefited both the Navy and the civilian commercial interests of Honolulu. Other than the acquisition of 693.58 acres of land, which includes the current navy yard, Kuahua Island, and a portion of Ford’s Island, little else was accomplished at Pearl Harbor. The initial dredging of the coral reef blocking the Pearl Harbor channel was completed in 1905. By 1907, encroachment by the US Army and other government agencies upon the grounds of the Naval Reservation in Honolulu caused such a restriction in operations that if adequate services to the fleet were to be provided, a move to Pearl Harbor would be necessary. An appropriations act dated May 13, 1908, established Naval Station Pearl Harbor and provided an initial $3 million for its development.

The centerpiece of the new Naval Station Pearl Harbor was the dry dock, which was planned to be largest yet built for the Navy. Construction began in 1909, and three-foot narrow-gauge railroad equipment in the form of one locomotive and some dump cars was acquired by the Navy for construction use. This was the beginning of the Navy’s railroad operations on Oahu. Other than the dry dock, little other construction activity took place at Pearl Harbor until 1910, when the first shops and storehouses were begun. In addition to the dry dock and repair shops, a naval magazine was established on Kuahua Island in 1911. Kuahua Island is within Pearl Harbor, and a railroad causeway was later constructed between it and the naval station/shipyard. The building of a massive 100,000-ton coaling plant was authorized in 1912; it included the only standard-gauge railroad component ever built on Oahu. A naval hospital was begun in 1911, and a high-power radio station in 1914. Construction of the submarine base commenced in 1918. In parallel with all this facilities construction, infrastructure construction was also in progress, including water and fuel oil reservoirs and distribution systems. The growth slowed in the 1920s and 1930s but continued, with the most significant change occurring with the establishment of Naval Magazine Lualualei and Naval Ammunition Depot West Loch, both rail served, in 1933. Construction activity again increased in the late 1930s as tensions mounted in the Pacific region. This increased construction activity included two additional dry docks and a six-million-barrel underground fuel facility located at Red Hill. A 24-inch-gauge underground railroad and conveyor system removed the tailings from the Red Hill project, which were used at Pearl Harbor to fill the area between Kuahua Island and the naval station.

Following the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the first response involved salvage and repair operations. This was soon followed by massive construction projects at all Navy and Marine Corps bases, during which the Navy’s railroad capability

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